Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Katya the Goth meets Jesus the Savior

"When Katya, a 15-year girl from Belarus, first showed up at youth camp two summers ago, she wore only black clothing and makeup; she identified herself with the Goth subculture. Her good friend had invited her and Katya felt accepted at New Hope Youth Camp; following camp she agreed to go to church with her friend from time to time.

"The next summer when Katya returned to camp she had embraced the Emo subculture; her favorite songs focused on death and one of her favorite pastimes was wandering around in the local cemetery at night. Again Katya had a good time at camp, as the New Hope team befriended her.

"Fast forward to the campfire on the final night of camp five months ago. "All that day," New Hope worker Uriy remembers, "we focused on the topic of having a pure heart. When the campfire was set all the kids started to come closer to it. One guy shared his testimony (he has HIV), and then we all sang worship songs together. And then I started to teach, using the parable of the prodigal son as an illustration. The kids listened attentively and quietly as the fire crackled.

"I compared the prodigal son's need for love and forgiveness to our need for love and forgiveness from the Father and explained that we can receive forgiveness only through faith in Jesus Christ and real repentance before Him. At the end I asked, 'Who of you, being aware of his or her guilt before God, wants to pray such a prayer?' It was very quiet as several came forward. One was a girl with tears in her eyes-Katya!"

"That night Katya asked God to take control of her life-and nothing has been the same since! Today Katya comes to teen club every week. Please join us in praying that the truth planted in Katya's heart-and hundreds more like her this past summer-will take root and blossom in them!

(from New Hope International newsletter, January 2012)

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